The highest rated college football town from the Group of Five has it all. A small town feel that makes every person uniquely important, a winning college football program that seems to always make waves nationally, and an incomparable landscape. Boone, North Carolina, ranks 15th on our Top 100 College Football Towns of America Countdown.
To celebrate 100 days until the start of the college football season, HERO Sports is counting down the Top 100 FBS College Football Towns in America. Each day, through Aug. 24, a new city will be revealed. We will analyze the city, the program, the good and bad of the city as well as the bottom line. If you got a problem, @me on Twitter.
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15. Boone, North Carolina — Appalachian State
[credit]Since joining the FBS in 2014, Appalachian State has been consistently really good. (Photo: Appalachian State Athletics )[/credit]
If you were aware of the Appalachian State football team before the 2007 season, you are either a liar or a Boone, North Carolina, resident. After September 1, 2007, the whole country–maybe the world–knew of the Mountaineers. That's when App State rolled into The Big House and became the first Divison 1-AA (now FCS) team to beat a ranked Division 1-A (now FBS) team. There were 109,000 people in attendance for that game.
For those in the know, App State had already created a name for themselves in the Southern Conference under head coach Jerry Moore, winning 10 conference championships during his tenure. They were the defending national champions on that fateful day in Ann Arbor. The Mountaineers would win three straight national championships from 2005-2007.
Since making the jump to FBS play, Appalachian State has won over 72 percent of their games, including back-to-back Sun Belt championships in 2016-'17. The biggest challenge facing the Mountaineers is not who they face on Saturdays, but rather which team will eventually lure head coach Scott Satterfield away from Boone. To most, it seems inevitable, but maybe Satterfield has found his home.
Try and imagine what life must be like above the clouds, and you'll have a small understanding of what life is like in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone. "The Heart of the High Country" is the highest town east of the Mississippi with a population over 10,000. A trip down King Street will give you all the feels of the small college town atmosphere, but there's nothing small about what they offer.
Kidd Brewer Stadium houses 30,000 almost every game day, consistently leading the Sun Belt in attendance. There are big flavors found in nearby Blowing Rock at Woodlands BBQ. Also, big adventure in the mountains. Where Blue Ridge Parkway, Beech Mountain and New River dots the i's and cross the t's on outdoor fun.
There is no better view on a college football game day than what Appalachian State offers in Boone.
Because its isolated in the belly of the Blue Ridge Mountains, getting to Boone can be a bit of a pill. It's a two-hour drive from Charlotte. So even though its part of the contiguous-48 states, it can sometimes feel like you are on an island. A great, green beautiful island.
Southern hospitality runs deep in Boone. The fans love their football, and the Mountaineers oblige with a great product. In the end, there is so much to love in one of the smallest college towns in the FBS.
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